Social Psychological Influences on Sensation Seeking from Adolescence to Adulthood

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology


Social psychological predictors of sensation seeking were investigated in a 9-year longitudinal study from adolescence to adulthood. The potential predictors of sensation seeking were social conformity, peer deviance, social support, emotional distress, drug use, and previous sensation seeking. Results of latent-variable models revealed that earlier sensation seeking was the strongest predictor of later sensation seeking. However, variables from each of the social psychological domains were also statistically significant predictors of sensation seeking, although these effects were primarily specific effects between subscales. The findings suggest that although previous research has shown that sensation seeking has a large heritability factor, certain social and psychological variables appear to play a role in the developmental expression of the trait.

Rights Information

© 1991 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.